There is a lot of planning that goes into building your new home, and with so many options to choose from, it’s easy to look past “green” alternatives. From flooring to light fixtures, there’s often a “green” alternative for most building materials.
Having proper insulation within your new home is the basis to having an efficient home. The U.S. Department of Energy states that 50 to 70% of the energy used in a home is through it’s heating and cooling system, but with proper insulation you can cut down that energy use immensely!
Upgrading your heating and cooling and water heater systems are another area to focus on when constructing a “green” home. To help save energy and money, upgrading to an energy-efficient HVAC system is the way to go. You may want to consider an ENERGY STAR system, which is a certified international standard for energy. Tankless water heaters are another great alternative. Not only do they provide an endless hot water supply, they are also extremely energy efficient and environmentally friendly.
Perhaps one of the most exciting ways to “green” your new home is using sustainable materials for your flooring or countertops. Popular sustainable options can be found in cork or bamboo flooring. Bamboo flooring in particular is an incredibly “green” resource since it is available in vast supply and is rapidly renewable – meaning it doesn’t take decades to replenish itself. Popular countertops are often made of recycled glass or concrete – which is made primarily from sand and water.
Maybe you’re not necessarily building new but are still looking for ways to “green” your home? One of the easiest upgrades is changing your old incandescent light bulbs to LED and CFL lights. LED and CFL lights may cost more initially, but they will save you on your long-term energy costs. LED lights are also said to last up to 25 times longer and are 80% more energy efficient than a 60-watt incandescent bulb.
And last, but certainly not least, would be updating your landscaping into a more environmentally friendly layout. Although this change generally costs more than just swapping out your light bulbs, its does provide many benefits. Experts suggest planting trees that lose their leaves on the west side of your home; not only will they provide shade in the hot summer months, they will also allow the sun to shine in and heat your home throughout the winter. By focusing on the natural landscape elements and planting native plants around your home, you can also help support the surrounding environment and wildlife and cut down on lawn care costs!
With so many options and updates to make your home “green,” you’re bound to find something that works best for you and your family. David C. Bos Homes is a proud Michigan certified green builder with over 36 years of experience building custom sustainable homes!
For more information, visit our Green & Sustainable Design and Renovations page, or fill out our contact form online. Our certified green specialists on staff would be happy to walk you through any option or alternative you may be considering.